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The primary research interests of our department were regional anaesthesia and new applications of drugs. Research was focused on new techniques to provide safe and effective post-operative pain relief. A randomised controlled trial (RCT) was started on a new regional anaesthetic technique: Transmuscular Quadratus Lumborum Block. Systematic reviews were done and accepted for publication on the effects of beta-blockade on analgesia, anaesthesia and postoperative nausea and vomiting.

Key Findings in 2016

Over the last years, regional anaesthetic techniques have been a research focus in our the department. We have shown that Transversus Abdominis Plane (TAP) blocks can provide postoperative analgesia comparable to the gold standard epidural technique. We are now starting to explore the benefits for the transmuscular quadratus lumborum block, which appears to give a better coverage of the abdomen compared to TAP. Both systematic reviews on beta-blockade and anaesthesia show that beta-blockade appears to significantly reduce analgesia and anaesthesia dosing, whilst reducing postoperative pain and nausea and vomiting. This can have significant consequences for the provision of anaesthesia in specific higher risk cases, where e.g. opioids need to be avoided. Specific trials are contemplated to explore this further.

Outcomes for the community

This research will lead to improved outcomes and patient experiences after regional and general anaesthesia.

Researchers

Consultants

Anand Rajbhoj

Vasanth Rao Kadam

Rajesh Sethi

Venkatesan Thiruvenkatarajan

Thavarajah Visvanathan

Richard Watts